Alpina chose the Frankfurt Motor Show to launch one of its most significant models for years - the new diesel powered D3 Bi-Turbo saloon and estate. Powered by the same twin-turbocharged straight-six engine as the sporty XD3 SUV and 5 Series-based D5 the newcomer has an incredible set of statistics.
This subtle and refined family saloon will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds courtesy of its 345bhp and 700Nm of torque - faster than an M135i - yet will return 53.3mpg and emits just 139g/km. The estate is slightly dirtier with CO2 emissions of 142mpg - but both are Euro 6 compliant.
In fact despite the incredible performance and 173mph top speed the new D3 is actually slightly more efficient than the four-cylinder 214bhp model that it replaces - which bodes well given that the current version has been the tuner's most succesful model to date.
On the continent buyers will get the option of either rear or four-wheel drive but in the UK the D3 will be rear-driven only for now, with the chance to specify a limited-slip differential from the extensive options list. Power is sent to the wheels through a modified version of BMW's eight speed automatic gearbox with the traditional paddles replaced by bespoke touch sensitive buttons on the wheel.
Inside the upgraded sports seats and unqiue dials are classic Alpina while the exterior also benefits from a styling package that includes larger multi-spoke alloy wheels, a lower front splitter and body kit.
Prices have not been annouced at this stage, but the new D3 is due to go on sale early next year costing around £45,000 - which it should make a tempting alternative to mainstream models from Mercedes, Audi and indeed BMW - and replace the gap opened by the current lack of an M3 Touring.